The Genesis of a Naked Journal

Here, by way of a little background, before I tell you about this site, it's probably best to tell you how it came about. A few weeks ago I was supposed to meet my best friend Marcy for a cocktail over at the Four Seasons. Well, of course, Marcy's late (always) and I end up alone in a bar (I hate that). Sure enough some 3-piece empty suit imagining me a gyro spit tries to make a pass. He barely acknowledges the introduction and goes straight for the "So, what I do for a living?" I assume he's quick in other ways, as well.

Anyway, it had been a long twelve-hour day of putting out client fires and teeth-gnashing internal politics. It's budget time at the "image factory." I was/am spent and just didn't have one ounce of posturing left in me for this guy. I hear myself blurt out, "I am a whore." It was a total knee-jerk reaction. I figure that's what he really wanted to hear. But truth is, I work for a major PR firm. I just didn't have it in me to gussy it up any. He instantly smiled, could barely contain his utter glee.

Well, the incident sent me into days of ruminating and gut-wrenching soul searching. Who am I? What makes my career even remotely meaningful? Sure, I've accumulated a killer portfolio, won a ton of awards in the last 15 years. But I've concluded that it's just not real and doesn't mean a damn thing. That was the moment when Strumpette was conceived.

What you'll find here is an honest treatment of the PR business. Why? Because there really isn't one. Some are sure to argue that point. Fact is it's quite rare. Bulldog has its "Barks and Bites." They've recently run: "Do the Right Thing, Right Now -- It's Time for PR to Stop Practicing 'Truthiness';" "Have Lying and Deception Become Job Requirements for PR Professionals?;" "Vinnie Launches Home Security Business: Strong Words on PR's Ethical Stewardship." But they're not consistent. The last piece is "Earn a Seat in the C-Suite: Ten Essential Strategies for Moving up PR's Career Ladder" by Rhoda Weiss, President-Elect of Public Relation Society of America. Complete dreck. It's infuriating and at the same time sad.

And the others, O'Dwyer's, PRNews, Holmes Report... even more depressing. Well, Jack may occasionally take a whack; but at their core, he/they seem afraid to tell the truth. Reminds me of the folks that comprise the Board of Ethics at PRSA. They give industry weather reports and some lip service to the issues. But everyone knows it's not real. Surely, if they got honest they'd likely alienate their peers and their peers are who rationalize their very existence. Self-reinforcing groups can be so insidious.

... and successful. "Why is that?" It's the $3.7 billion question (that's how much was spent on PR in the U.S. last year according to the NY investment bank Veronis Suhler Stevenson).

The answer is a combination of the nature of what PR does for a living combined with what humans do for a living. Here, imagine life as a game of poker. Of course, it's "best hand wins all;" but the object is to increase the pot. So everyone holds their cards close to the chest. We all bluff on what we've got. That's where PR comes in. I am, we are, the Strumpette in acrylic heels behind the fat man at the table, a billboard for his brash confidence, stroking his ego, attending to his every need. Don't let anyone kid you, that whore is every man's fantasy and the animal that is business is male.

But then came the Internet. Now we all can virtually see through the bluff. The game is now Indian poker where everyone else can see your hand apparently except you. And the most absurd thing is to watch the posturing, puffing and bluster that continues.

Here we expose that. Strumpette is a totally naked journal of the PR Business. Watch as I work the pole. Care for another cocktail mister?

- Amanda Chapel
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